My first vizsla did not come with a "black box warning", but it should have. I had no idea of what would happen to my life because of this wonderful breed.
It started with a search for a place with a "big yard" which then lead to searching for a second vizsla to fill up the big space we came to live in and to the idea of becoming a breeder. I met Sue Gray of Dirigo Vizslas in this search and spent a couple of years of following her all over New England to meet with dozens of wonderful breeders who were very willing to share their years of knowledge—and an opinion or two.
When I decided to move to Israel, I realized that they had no vizslas there and began the serious work of finding four foundation vizslas to take with me so that I might always have a few of these dogs in my life. That led to a chance to study—or should I say—a chance to grab as much knowledge as I could from any breeder who would spare me the time, all the while learning to show my wonderful Dirigo girl.
In Israel, an FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) country, all my pups had to be shown so they could be critiqued by at least two European/Israeli judges, giving me unbiased written appraisals about the conformation of the pups we had. We ended up with multiple Israeli and International Champions.
During this time, I started to make trips to Hungary and the rest of Europe to find foundation vizslas that could hunt and to show some of the Valley Hunter dogs in the big shows, including the FCI World Show. I came to really respect the Hungarian breeders' dedication to their breed and was privileged to study with them and to bring home some of their vizslas.
The Vizsla Club of Israel remains strong 20 years after I returned to the United States. My trip back home to the United States included packing myself and 14 vizslas on an El Al cargo plane, flown by the boyfriend of a dear friend of mine.
In 1989, I landed in Florida and joined the wonderful Tampa Bay Vizsla Club, making some of the best friends a person could ever want.
I began to show my dogs the year I returned and haven't stopped yet. About two years after my return, one of my pups dragged me into field events and it was so much fun, we've been working on hunt tests and field titles ever since. Of course, we've had the great fun of introducing many puppy owners to these games as well.
My job is too time consuming to allow me to see obedience and agility as anything except spectator sports. Maybe one day...but I do get to have the fun of watching many of our very talented "puppy people" doing great work/play with their vizslas.
Many Valley Hunter vizslas have earned multiple AKC and NAVHDA titles with their people, and I want to thank them for having fun with our dogs.
Getting back to the "Black Box Warning"....
We tell each puppy person the dangers of that first pup...it often leads to a second pup and has been known to lead to multiple dog households which then leads to the search for a vehicle to transport them. It can lead to the search for five to ten acres and joining the "vizsla owners relocation plan". This, in turn, can lead to nation-wide, even international, travel. In the most extreme of reactions, people have been known to build pigeon houses in posh neighborhoods and adding horses, trucks and horse trailers is not unheard of.
You have been warned! I want to thank the breeders, whose experience totals hundreds of years, for creating the wonderful lines we were able to build upon. They have my undying gratitude and respect.